|Eternal Security and or 'once saved always saved' is another controversial subject among Christians and it's sad it has to be so for all scripture is true, so we need to approach scripture with a balanced view. If you get nothing else from this website realize that all scripture is true, so when it appears that one scripture is saying something that appears to be in contradiction to another scripture, then you have to realize both passages are true, not one or the other.
A simple example is as follows:
When Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he gave us a picture of how we are to approach scripture. Satan said to him in Matthew : 4:6-7, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you and In their hands they shall bear you up,Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus replied to him, "It is also written, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'"
So was Satan correct? Yes, he quoted a scripture which was true but he also did what too many others are doing today. He purposely did not quote other scripture as Jesus did to speak to the other side of the truth. This is super important because it shows that Satan knows the scriptures very well. In fact he lived in heaven with Jesus (the living word) for who knows how many millions of years before he was cast down because of his pride and rebellion. He knew then and knows the word now unfortunately better than most Christians do, and therein lies the problem for us. Unless we get the word inside of us and know it as good or better than he does, we will lose to him and his minions. Ignoring ANY of it can hurt us severely lest we give into temptation which leads to spiritual death. He knows how to steal what we have, but we don't have to let him get it.
The subject of eternal security and or once saved always saved (OSAS) is much the same. One side says you can lose your Salvation if you neglect it, or it can be stolen and the other side says it can't be lost or stolen. Since there is much scripture that has been written which speaks to both sides, one has to conclude since all scripture is correct then so both stances are correct, not one or the other because all scripture is correct. So then, there is a way to keep your Salvation to be eternally secure and there is also a way to lose it or have it taken away.
The one side that says Salvation is secure for all are known as Calvinists after John Calvin, while the other side who says salvation can be lost or stolen are known as Armenians after Jacobus Arminius. Calvinism is named for John Calvin, a French theologian who lived from 1509 - 1564. Arminianism is named for Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian who lived from 1560 - 1609. Most people who believe in the doctrine of loss, don't believe it because they read the teachings of Arminius, they just believe it because they see it for themselves throughout scripture, where it talks about what happens to those who don't continue in the faith. They are almost shocked when they run into a Calvanist who calls them an "Armenian", because they have no idea what they are talking about.
In contrast, most Calvanists have heard of John Calvin and his teachings, and they consider themselves to be proud Calvinists, because their pastors speak about John Calvin and his teachings a lot. Rarely will you hear any "Armenian pastor" as they are so labeled, speak of Jacob Arminius. They usually just quote the scriptures that speak of loss rather than quoting some other man and this is what more Calvanists should do.
Today there are more and more Armenian preachers compromising every day and giving in to the unbalanced teaching of "once saved always saved." They are doing this because it's a more 'comfortable gospel' to preach. Also what is happening at many of these churches is, people may go down to the alter to repent of their sins and be saved, then they are going back to their old lives the next day with no life change whatsoever.
They are not doing this because there is a problem with alter calls, but because the entire truth of the importance of continuing in the faith is not being addressed. So this results in these people thinking they have a 'get out of hell free card' because they said a prayer of repentance once. They then think they can go back and live like they did before, by falling back into sin, because no one is telling them otherwise.
John 10:28-29 often used to defend once saved always saved and eternal security and reads "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. There are also other passages that talk about the security of the saints IF they continue in the faith.
Then we have Hebrews 6:4-6 for example, which is often used to defend ones loss of salvation reads: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him (Jesus) to an open shame.
There are also many other passages and warnings throughout scripture even in the Old Testament which prove there are some who turn from the faith after being in it for a time. In fact Exodus 32:33 shows precedent for people having been named in the famed 'book of life', having their names erased because of sin. Jesus in the letters to the churches in Revelation, also eludes to this erasure in Rev. 3:5, by saying those who overcome sin will not have their names erased implying that those who do not overcome sin will. Some preach that names can't be erased from the book of life, but the bible disagrees with them.
The Hebrews passage does not say one can be 'plucked' or 'snatched' but says 'if they shall fall away' denoting a choice that has been made to turn from the truth which is in Jesus. We can choose to fall away or rebel just as Satan once did.
Also Jesus said in Matthew 24:10, that there will be many who will 'lose their faith' in the last days and of course we all know faith is very important not only in our initial Salvation, but we must keep the faith, to keep the gift of Salvation.
So we here at realchristian.net, believe it is possible to be eternally secure in ones salvation but something has to be done by the receiver of the gift to keep it because of the scriptures that say so. Some would say this is works based Salvation and their accusation would be partially correct if James 2:14-26 did not exist. There are many other passages such as 1Timothy 6:20, which says you actually do have to do something to keep or 'guard' your Salvation. There many more that say we have to continue in the faith to obtain the prize of eternal life.
James 2:24, says in fact that we are not saved by faith alone, but righteous acts, or testimonies of our faith work in concert with faith to save us. James said faith without works is dead, but he wasn't talking about works of the law which no one can be saved by, he was talking about standing up for what we believe (which is a good work) and truly righteous acts which are stimulated by faith. We are saved to do good works, if we never do them, then we are not saved.
Also if a Christian remains in the truth or the vine which is Jesus the son of God, he or she is in fact eternally secure and will not lose their salvation. But at the same time since God never takes away our free will to choose sin, so your Salvation can be lost then stolen by the enemy Satan who's one mission is to in fact do just that. How? A few examples would be to stop reading the word of God, fall back into sin and let sin control you again as it once did.
Jesus again says in Matthew 18:8-9 "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire."And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Who is Jesus talking to here? He was actually talking to everyone, not just some obscure religious group. Do we think that a Christian can defy the above scripture time and time again and not be punished if that sin is not repented of and dealt with? This is what some would have you to believe. Some believe one prayer for all time covers all future sin too, but this is against the scriptures. The only difference between a real Christian and everyone else is the real Christian lives a humble repentant lifestyle and dies to themselves and their sin daily. If they fall away from their first love (Jesus) and don't return in time, they are in danger of losing their Salvation, by having their names erased from the book of life. If it couldn't be done, then Jesus would not have brought it up as well as Exodus showing us that some already have been.
Revelation speaks to this directly as well. In chapters two and three we have letters from Jesus to the churches and he warns five of the seven to shape up or they would incur his wrath. For some who say but the letters to the churches were only for the first century churches is a cop out and they know it. This is why many OSAS'ers don't like the book of Revelation and this is a shame, because it's the most powerful book ever written and special blessing come to those who read it and believe it. To think the American church on the whole does not have problems with corruption, lovelessness, deadness, compromising and lukewarmness is to have ones head in the proverbial sand.
Divorce in the 'church' is just as high as in the secular world. Sorry folks but that's loveless. Preachers preaching politics from the pulpit instead of the gospel, that's corruption and abuse of their privilege. Allowing gays to run churches and excusing that or any other sin is compromising. Going to some church were sin is not discussed or dealt with is dead and finally lukewarm is all of us from time to time.
If you hold an offense or grudge against another and won't forgive, you can't be forgiven. That's why the Lords prayer which is supposed to be a daily prayer, contains the words ' forgive us this day our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. You see Jesus knew some would still sin after becoming a Christian and so he left instruction on how to deal with it. Sin not dealt with is sin that will keep us from our eternal reward.
Unconfessed sin will keep anyone from heaven. ANYONE including anyone who calls themselves a Christian but live another way. This is because it prideful to think because you are one of the elect, you don't have to repent and pride is a sin for the Christian just as it is for anyone else.
So the key to eternal life is confessing and repenting of sin even after one becomes a Christian, for if you haven't noticed even Christians can make mistakes and fall. So stay on the straight and narrow and you will receive your reward plain and simple, if you fall get up and continue the race and the battle, for as soon as you stop, that's when Satan will be there to steal what you have been given. It is harder to steal a package or gift from someone running or fighting than it is if they are just sitting there doing nothing for God, but call themselves Christians.
Preaching eternal security and one saved always saved only, without preaching the doctrine of loss alongside it, is a dangerous unbalanced doctrine. The problem with this is that many use it as a license to get involved with any sin they choose to practice and still think they can gain heaven. Though some Calvanist preachers will say that's not what they believe, that is what happens to many who hear them preach using the term "once saved always saved,' eternal security, or don't worry about sin, you can't lose your Salvation. The effect it has on the church is devastating and what we see going on in the American church is a product of this dangerous unbalanced doctrine.
Also read below from Revelation 3:1-6, how clearly Jesus is telling us that those in the church who refuse to repent and keep on sinning will be erased from the book of life. He says the ones who are "unstained" by sin will walk with him and be clothed in white, but the others who won't wake up, will not. He also says he will come to the unrepentant like a thief denoting that they will be left behind at the sixth seal pre-wrath, pre tribulation Rapture.
1 "Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis:
"The One who has the seven spirits and the seven stars says this: I know what you do. People say that you are alive, but really you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what you have left before it dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants. 3 So do not forget what you have received and heard. Obey it, and change your hearts and lives. So you must wake up, or I will come like a thief, and you will not know when I will come to you.4 But you have a few there in Sardis who have kept their clothes unstained, so they will walk with me and will wear white clothes, because they are worthy.5 Those who win the victory will be dressed in white clothes like them. And I will not erase their names from the book of life, but I will say they belong to me before my Father and before his angels. 6 Everyone who has ears should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
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